Hollins University

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Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
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Baccalaureate Colleges: Arts & Sciences Focus
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Hollins University is a private, accredited, independent liberal arts university located in Roanoke, Virginia. A college for women, Hollins University was established in 1842 and was one of the nation’s first female colleges. Founded as the Valley Union Seminary by Charles Lewis Cocke, a young mathematics professor from Richmond, the college was originally coeducational, but became an all-female institution in 1852. Cocke’s purpose in establishing the college was to fulfill his mission of dedicating his life to the “higher education of women in the South.” In 1855 the school was renamed Hollins Institute in recognition of John and Ann Halsey Hollins, who were generous benefactors of the. Renamed Hollins College in 1911, the college’s first graduate programs were offered as early as 1958 and by 1998 the school achieved university status and became Hollins University.

Academic Programs

Hollins University’s mission is to “prepare students for lives of active learning, fulfilling work, personal growth, achievement, and service to society.” Dedicated to both academic excellence and humane values, a few of the hallmarks of a Hollins education include “creativity and effective self-expression, problem solving and critical thinking skills, and independent inquiry and the free exchange of ideas.” Hollins University offers more than two dozen undergraduate majors for women as well as several coeducational graduate and certification programs.

Hollins University operates on a 4-1-4 academic calendar. The January Short Term – called J-Term – allows students to focus to a single subject through independent research, internships, or another immersive experience. One of the great advantages Hollins University’s J-Term provides is the opportunity for students to immerse themselves in a subject and explore potential careers or particular passions. Approximately three-fourths of students complete internships and a number of students participate in study abroad programs. Hollins University offers international learning programs in Paris and London as well as an annual service learning project in Jamaica. In addition, even more opportunities through the School for Field Studies are available in countries such as Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Tanzania, Caicos and more.

Student Life

Hollins University is located on a beautiful 475 acre campus, nestled in a rolling green meadow and bounded by the Roanoke Valley. Approximately 800 students are enrolled at Hollins University, including roughly 600 female undergraduates. 98% of first-year students choose to live on campus. Hollins University’s facilities include the Wyndham Robertson Library, which has been designated as Virginia’s first National Literary Landmark; the Front Quadrangle, which is listed on the National Historic Register; the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum; and the Swannonoa Hall, home to the Jackson Center for Creative Writing.

More than 30 co-curricular clubs and organizations exist on Hollins’ campus as well as 17 honor societies and organizations, including the oldest liberal arts honors society in the U.S., Phi Beta Kappa. Hollins University also boasts a number of varsity teams which compete at the NCAA Division III level as well as a nationally recognized riding program. One of Hollins’ classic traditions includes ‘Tinker Day’. Classes are canceled on a random fall day and students and faculty hike up Tinker Mountain while wearing “zany costumes”, after which follows a time of singing and sharing in a traditional picnic meal of fried chicken and Tinker Cake.

Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?